UCL: Sir Alex Ferguson Advises Solskjaer On How To Stop Lionel Messi

How To Stop Lionel Messi

Manchester United face Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at Old Trafford and boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could heed Sir Alex Ferguson's advice on how to stop Lionel Messi.

The clash is the first time the two sides have met in Europe's premier competition since the La Liga leaders beat United in the final in 2011.

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Lionel Messi was the star of the show at Wembley that night and will once again lead Barca's charge as they look to take a first-leg lead back to the Nou Camp.

Legendary United boss Ferguson suggested after the 3-1 setback that he had worked out how to stop the Argentine.

“You need centre-backs who are prepared to drop right on top of Messi and not worry about what is happening behind them,” the Scot wrote in his 2013 autobiography.

“He will drift away to the side. That's fine. He's less of a threat on the side than he is through the centre.

“After the inquest, I told myself: ‘When we play Barcelona next time in a Champions League final, I would have Jones and Smalling, or Smalling and Evans, right on top of Messi. I wasn't going to let him torture us again.”

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Chris Smalling is likely to take on Ferguson's challenge and he admits he is relishing the prospect.

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago

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